Is Lukas Podolski set to become Robin Van Persie’s Replacement?
Following our recent article rumouring that Arsenal are closing in on Köln striker Lukas Podolski, it has now been reported that Arsenal have agreed a fee in the region of £10.9 million for the Germany International.
Former Liverpool midfielder and ex-German international Dietmar Hamann has told talkSPORT in an interview that although Podolski is a talented striker, he failed to make the grade in the big move of his career when he transferred from Köln to Bayern Munich in 2006 and has worries over whether Podolski is the right man for Arsenal.
Hamann told talkSPORT:
“He went to Bayern Munich a few years ago, he couldn’t really make a breakthrough there, and obviously he’s back in his home town of Köln where he is loved, where he’s their main player and he blossoms.”
“He’s scored a lot of goals this year but again, the one time he played for a big club, at Bayern, he didn’t really cut it.”
Hamann also made the point that he thought the rumoured transfer fee of £10.9 million was too much, while also rather interestingly comparing Podolski to current Gunners frontman Robin Van Persie:
“He’s a left-footed player who likes to play in and around the box. I don’t know what the thinking or the reason around it was but I’m not sure whether he will be a success. I’d be a bit worried.”
On the face of it, Arsenal fans are likely to be happy that such a high profile name as Podolski, 26, has been linked with their club rather than the usual list of talented youngsters that appears on Wenger’s shopping list each summer, but we wonder whether there’s a more serious and alarming reason for Arsenal’s interest in Podolski.
Hamann’s comparison between Podolski and Van Persie, plus the recent transfer gossip confirming Roberto Mancini’s interest in the Dutchman has got us thinking. Could Lukas Podolski actually be Arsene Wenger’s replacement for Van Persie? Is the Arsenal boss already resigned to losing his star player, following the departures of Nasri and Fabregas to high profile clubs last summer? Has be moved early to secure an experienced replacement?
Van Persie’s contract expires at the end of next season, and Arsenal and Van Persie himself have been keen to tell the press that talks will begin in the summer over a new contract. Manchester City boss Mancini has suggested that he believes Van Persie will be persuaded to stay at the Emirates, saying “I don’t think he can leave Arsenal” but it is always common for managers on the brink of signing new players to play down the likelihood of a move. Certainly City have the funds, and look the more likely than Arsenal to challenge for silverware each season.
It’s likely to be a long summer of transfer rumours and you can bet your house on Robin Van Persie being at the top of the list of rumours unless he’s quick to put pen to paper and sign a new contract. If Wenger can persuade is star man to extend his contract with Arsenal, it would surely be his best signing yet.
What do you think? Is Podolski set to become Robin Van Persie’s replacement or is Wenger simply looking to capture some big name players early in a bid to help secure Van Persie’s future? We’ll be accepting comments below and would love to hear what Arsenal fans think.